4¢ Senator George W. Norris
Issue Date: July 11, 1961
City: Washington, D.C.
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 1/2
Color: Blue green
U.S. #1184 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of late Senator George William Norris. Next to the portrait of Norris is the Norris Dam, located north of Knoxville, Tennessee. The dam was named in his honor for the role he played in establishing the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933. The quote in the lower left corner was adapted from a quote by late President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
George W. Norris (1861-1944)
Born in Ohio, George W. Norris moved to Beaver City, Nebraska, in 1885, after graduating from college. He served as a county attorney and district judge before being elected to the U.S. Congress in 1902. In 1910, Norris led the political battle to free the House from the dictator-like control of Speaker Joseph Cannon. After serving in the House of Representatives for 10 years, Norris was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Although he was a Republican, George W. Norris was one of greatest independent politicians in American history. Norris opposed America’s entry into World War I and the League of Nations. He is best remembered for sponsoring the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Rural Electrification Act (REA), which eventually brought electricity to rural areas across America.
Norris was crucial in passing the 20th Amendment, often called the “Lame Duck” amendment, which shortened the time between congressional elections and the first meeting of the new Congress. This reduced the influence of congressional members who had been defeated in elections. The rise of Fascism and Nazism greatly concerned Norris, and he supported sending aid to Great Britain during the early years of World War II.